Dear Xi Jinping

Melissa Ludtke
Sep 23, 2015 · 11 min read

I am writing to you as an American Mom of a 19-year old Chinese daughter …

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When she was young, my daughter Maya became an environmental activist.
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Maya blows out candles on her 16th birthday.
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Women activists protest at the 1968 Miss America pageant, tossing items symbolic of women’s oppression into their Freedom Trash Can.
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On Valentine’s Day 2012, college students, wearing bloodstained wedding dresses to symbolize battered wives, chanted slogans as they held signs in Beijing’s first public performance art depicting violence against women. Their signs (left to right) say: “Violence is the sign of love. No violence,” based on an old Chinese saying, “To beat is dear,” to scold is love” that applies to relationships between parents and children, as well as spouses and lovers; “Violence is around us. Can you remain silent?”; and, “Love is the not an excuse for violence.”
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The protest at Miss America lit a spark for the Women’s Liberation Movement.
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On March 16, 1970, the same day Newsweek published this cover story, 46 women employees charged the magazine with gender discrimination in its hiring and promotion of women.
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On June 18, 2013 in Beijing, young women dressed up as pregnant nurses, doctors and chefs to protest against Mei Tuan, a Chinese version of Groupon, after the company fired pregnant employees. The protesters handed out messages printed on pink paper encouraging women workers to protect their rights. “Support pregnant women, against Mei Tuan,” say the sign in the middle, and to its right: “You cannot fire pregnant women as you want.”
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On September 16, 2012, in front of Wuhan University, a young woman smashes a vase to protest beauty pageants being held at the university.
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On International Women’s Day in March 2015, people gathered outside the United Nations to protest China’s arrest of the women rights’ activists.
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F.A.O. “Fritz” Schwarz, Jr. testifies before the Church Committee during its 1975 hearings on government secrecy. Image is taken from trailer for the film “1971.”
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Ma Hu (not her real name) charged China Post with gender discrimination when it refused to hire her as a courier because she is a woman. This screen grab was taken from a Channel New Asia news report video about her case.

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